Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Judge blocks Alabama immigration law to buy time

A federal judge on Monday blocked Alabama's tough new immigration law from taking effect this week, making it the latest U.S. state to have a measure on illegal immigration halted in court.

Chief U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn cited the need for more time to consider the legal challenges against the law in an injunction that blocks implementation of the law through September 29. "In entering this order the court specifically notes that it is in no way addressing the merits of the motions," the judge wrote in her two-page order.

Federal judges have previously blocked key parts of other immigration laws passed in Georgia, Arizona, Utah and Indiana.

The Alabama law, widely seen as the toughest state measure on illegal immigration, requires police to detain people they suspect of being in the United States illegally if they cannot produce proper documentation when stopped for any reason.

The law also makes it a crime to knowingly transport or harbor an illegal immigrant, and requires public schools to determine, by reviewing birth certificates or sworn affidavits, the legal residency status of students upon enrollment.

Lawyers for the Obama administration and other groups asked the judge last week to halt the law, which was set to take effect this Thursday.

The administration argued that the U.S. Constitution bars states from adopting their own immigration regime that interferes with the federal system. Other opponents say the law will deter children in immigrant families from enrolling in school and criminalize Alabama residents who interact with those in the country without documents.

Conservatives have complained that President Barack Obama has failed to sufficiently stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. The Obama administration successfully sued to block Arizona's tough law last year.

Attempts to overhaul federal immigration policy have gone nowhere in the U.S. Congress.


Britain’s new brain drain: A million of our best-qualified citizens now live abroad

More than a million of the highest-qualified and best-trained Britons have gone to live abroad and are contributing to the wealth of other countries, a report found yesterday.

They have made up more than half of the British emigrants who have gone abroad over the past 14 years to work in countries including America, Australia, or, increasingly, Germany, it found.

The report from the immigration think tank MigrationWatch warned of a new brain drain and said that no other country loses as many university graduates through emigration.

But at the same time British immigration rules are offering entry clearance to the country to engineers and other highly qualified technicians because the country is suffering from shortages.

The analysis of who is going abroad comes at a time when numbers of people leaving the country to live abroad have plummeted, mainly thanks to the recession. At the same time levels of immigration have remained at sky high levels.

As a result net migration – the number of people added to the population by migration – last year totalled 239,000, the second highest total ever.

The new report said that professionally qualified workers and experienced managers continue to make up the majority of emigrants from Britain, numbering more than 50,000 in 2009.

It put the number of British graduates working abroad at 1.1 million, and added many will stay away permanently.

Citing the verdict produced by the Paris-based grouping of rich nations, the report said: ‘This is consistent with the findings of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that the UK suffers from a brain drain less serious only than Mexico whereby a significant proportion of its tertiary level educated go overseas to work,’ the report said.

It added: ‘There is something of a brain drain occurring in Britain whereby our most talented and skilled are leaving the UK in search of opportunities abroad.’

The report said the need to import engineers means that British companies may be paying too little for highly qualified staff.

‘The UK Border Agency Shortage Occupation list includes civil engineers, mechanical engineers and electrical engineers among others,’ it said, ‘perhaps suggesting that UK companies are not paying sufficiently well to keep the brightest and the best.

‘Despite the NHS claiming to be reliant on migrant labour, 27 per cent of our skilled emigrants had a health or education degree.’

MigrationWatch chairman Sir Andrew Green said: ‘The profile of those who are leaving is a concern.’

The report said around six out of ten emigrants from Britain have since 1997 been aged between 25 and retirement age, and the most numerous among these are people under 44 looking to promote their careers.

France and Spain have dropped down the table of the most popular destinations for Britons moving abroad during the recession, the MigrationWatch report said.

Numbers leaving for a life in France last year were below 20,000, well under half the peak of emigration to France five years ago, and emigrant departures for Spain are now running at around 25,000 compared to more than 60,000 in 2004.

The report pointed to the high euro and worries about property values as among the reasons.

‘One possible explanation for the fall in emigration to Spain is the uncertainty caused by the illegal construction of homes along the Spanish coastlines, discouraging the British from buying property,’ it said.

‘However, the wider fall in the value of the pound against the euro can explain this decline in emigration to France and Spain; the pound lost 28 per cent of its value against the euro between January 2007 and January 2009. For those on fixed incomes this changes the economics of a life of retirement in France or Spain.’

The European country now attracting greater numbers of British emigrants is Germany, where Britons are going to work in the comparatively strong economy.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Border Watchlisting a Decade after 9/11

New Report Examines Progress, Remaining Challenges

As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, curtailing terrorist travel must remain a top priority. Today, the combined domestic/foreign “Terrorist Watchlist,” listing individuals where there exists sufficient “reasonable suspicion” of terrorist activity, is almost entirely made up of foreign-born terrorists, with Americans or legal permanent residents constituting only two percent of the names. Attempts to enter the U.S. by foreign terrorists can best be stopped by knowing who they are ahead of time through the hard, tedious process of watchlisting, and making those watchlists available to the right frontline officers in real time.

Janice Kephart, National Security Director at the Center for Immigration Studies and former 9/11 Commission border counsel, takes a look at watchlisting since 9/11 and criticisms of its shortcomings in the wake of the 2009 attempted Christmas Day bombing. Her report, Border Watchlisting a Decade after 9/11, is available at and presents a historical perspective on 9/11 Commission watchlist recommendations. The report concludes that the hardest work of implementation is complete, and offers recommendations to curtail “legitimate” terrorist travel (i.e., by those who seek legal entry by abusing vulnerabilities that remain in our border and aviation systems). These recommendations include:

* “Cloud”, encryption, and storage technologies that solve the inability to gain information access across systems and databases, while also assuring both security and privacy. Piloting this technology should be prioritized.

* Biometrics, including digitized facial images and fingerprints, need to be fully incorporated into watchlisting to reduce misidentification of legitimate travelers and terrorists.

* DHS must create comprehensive travel and immigration histories for foreigners that cut across agencies and are easily accessible to the entire intelligence community. This 9/11 Commission recommendation is law, but Congress has not conducted oversight to assure its implementation.

* Law enforcement data obtained from abroad by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Visa Security Units conducting terrorist investigations of visa applicants is extremely useful; Congress needs to prioritize the VSU expansion, and give DHS visa revocation authority.

* The U.S. must do what it can to keep European Union agreements in place pertaining to Passenger Name Records; these records are absolutely essential to assuring accuracy of matching watchlist information to relevant aviation travelers.

* All visa holders and visa waiver participants should have their information vetted at least every two years, and every time they seek to travel to the U.S. Right now, visa waiver travelers are subject to higher security thresholds than many visa holders from countries not friendly to the U.S. Applying a standardized approach avoids profiling, establishes security away from our borders, and enables real-time vetting where derogatory information develops after visa issuance.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: Contact: Janice Kephart,, 202-466-8185.

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Surge in visa success rates 'luring' boatpeople to Australia

SUCCESS rates for refugee claims have leapt from 30 to 70 per cent in just six months, sparking accusations the government is encouraging boatpeople by virtually guaranteeing them visas.

Senior Immigration Department officials conceded at a recent parliamentary committee hearing that the success rate for asylum claims now stood at 70 per cent, not far below its record high of more than 90 per cent.

With the High Court to hand down its ruling on the Malaysia Solution tomorrow, the figures prompted agencies to warn the Department of Immigration's high success rate was acting as an incentive to asylum-seekers to get on a boat.

Senior department official Garry Fleming told a parliamentary committee earlier this month the primary acceptance rate for asylum-seekers who arrive by boat stood at 70 per cent.

Mr Fleming said the speed at which refugee claims were being processed meant that "a good articulation" of people's refugee claims was not being heard at their initial assessment, resulting in a high rate of overturn at review. "That is now seeing primary recognition rates in the order of about 70 per cent," Mr Fleming told the committee.

The figure does not take into account unsuccessful asylum claims that are overturned on review, suggesting the final success rate could be considerably higher.

The rate at which refugee claims for boatpeople are upheld is seen as a key element in the factors driving refugee movements.

Early last year the Rudd government was warned its refugee success rate was "out of whack" with other countries and was acting as a "major pull factor". The warning was contained in confidential advice sent to government prior to the decision to freeze Afghan asylum claims for six months and Sri Lankan claims for three months. At the time the advice was sent the refugee success rate was more than 90 per cent.

According to department statistics the primary success rate was just 27 per cent for the first six months of 2010-11, meaning it has soared more than 40 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Refugee Council chief executive Paul Power said "clearly there have been issues in the quality of the decision-making". "That's the only conclusion one can reasonably draw," Mr Power said yesterday. "The fluctuations of people from the same countries and in similar circumstance being rejected is baffling to anyone outside the department."

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said he found the department's explanation for the wildly fluctuating success rate "unconvincing". "Clearly if your recognition rates are higher than the rest of the world (asylum-seekers) are more likely to say yes to a people-smuggler and get on a boat," Mr Morrison said. "With primary acceptance rates going from the high 90s to the 20s then back up to 70 per cent, it reveals a process that is all over the place."

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said refugee decisions were made on a "case-by-case" basis. "As we have said before, driving forces will vary from time to time and numbers will rise and fall in different parts of the world at different times," the spokesman said.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Obama Runs End-Around on Immigration Law

By U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner

Last week, the Obama Administration surprisingly announced a new immigration policy that effectively circumvents Congress’ legislative authority in order to extend amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants. Although Congress has rejected time and again amnesty legislation, this policy will allow some illegal immigrants to stay and work in the United States by administrative fiat.

Under this new decision, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Homeland Security officials will choose to allow some illegal immigrants currently involved in deportation cases to remain in the US. The administration plans to review 300,000 cases and waive the deportation of some individuals who have clean or minor criminal records beyond their illegal immigration status.

This new policy is an unacceptable abuse of presidential power, and it is an extension of this administration’s contempt for our immigration laws.

Last year, Congress rejected legislation that would have extended amnesty to certain illegal immigrants, many of whom fit the same profile of this waiver. With this announcement, President Obama clearly indicated that he is willing to ignore Congressional legislative action to achieve his own agenda.

According to ICE Director John Morton, “One of ICE's central responsibilities is to enforce the nation's civil immigration laws.” But intentionally excusing illegal immigration for some individuals does the opposite: this decision ignores our immigration laws.

Immigrants whose cases are waived could also be offered the opportunity to apply for a visa or work permit and remain working in the United States.

With 9 percent unemployment and millions still looking for work, this immigration plan seems to prioritize allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to stay and work here. This is an affront to Americans and legal immigrants who are counting on this president to focus on growing the economy and help employers create much-needed jobs.

Additionally alarming is the broad discretion given to bureaucrats when deciding which deportation cases should be waived. Based on a variety of vague factors, officials reviewing a case can decide whether to cancel the deportation proceedings.

Consider the hundreds and thousands of individuals who wait in line — often for many years — for the opportunity to immigrate to America. Now, the President has decided to move some individuals, who have already broken our immigration laws, to the front of the line.

This is unfair and unwise policy. It signals that our immigration laws are to be ignored, and we have given up attempting to enforce them. The policy undermines the rule of law, is a blatant disregard for the constitutional separation of powers, and in effect, rewards lawbreakers.

As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I have worked to secure our nation’s borders and hold both this and previous administrations accountable for their actions on immigration. We are a country of immigrants, and we are a nation of laws. It is the president’s constitutional responsibility to see that his administration enforces these laws.


Nigerian fraudster allowed to stay in Britain under human rights laws

A foreign criminal who was jailed for his role in a £1 million benefits fraud has used human rights laws to avoid being deported. Philip Olawale Omotunde took part in a elaborate scam which involved claiming social security pay-outs for fictional disabled babies.

The Home Office tried to deport the Nigerian but he won the right to stay in Britain after arguing it would breach his "right to private and family life" to separate him from his six-year-old son - who was going to a school 12 miles away from where his father lived.

Extraordinarily he should not have been in the country in the first place. Omotunde came to Britain as a visitor in 1991, when he was 28, and overstayed his visa. The Home Office made a decision to deport him in 1996 but no action was taken. The last Labour government granted him indefinite leave to remain under a "regularisation scheme" in 2002.

Omotunde's case highlights the way the "family life" rules under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights are being used to overturn the government's efforts to throw foreign crooks out of the country.

Since immigration judges made their decision in May this year, he has been sent to jail again for offences relating to his failure to pay a £45,000 confiscation order for his part in the benefits fraud.

Dominic Raab, a Tory MP who is campaigning to reform Article 8, said: "The judges are using the Human Rights Act to bar deportation in a rapidly increasing number of cases where the government want to deport serious criminals, on the basis that it may disrupt their family relations. "That undermines public protection. It must be for elected and lawmakers to set policy in this area, not unaccountable judges."

The use of the act is currently under review as part of a Home Office consultation.

Omotunde, 48, was part of an organised crime gang which stole British people's names, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers to commit a complex web of frauds. He had already been convicted in 2006 of working as an illegal taxi tout, and fined £100.

The fraud ring set up false addresses and bank accounts to extract hundreds of thousands of pounds per month from the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax credits system. The ring claimed tax credits for fake disabled babies aged under one.

After his conviction the Home Office served notice on Omotunde that he was liable to be deported because his son, who was born in April 2005, was young enough to adapt to life in Nigeria. Omotunde appealed to the immigration tribunal.

His lawyers told the tribunal he was the "dominant carer" for his young son, who lived in Lewisham, south-east London - even though at the time the child was going to school 12 miles away in Fulham, on the other side of London. He claimed the child was not being looked after by its mother, who at the time was also an illegal immigrant, but by her sister and a "team" which included two "pastors".

The tribunal refused to overturn the deportation order, but five days after their decision the Home Office granted Omotunde's son British citizenship, a move which strengthened the criminal's argument that he could not be separated from his family. He brought a new appeal to senior judges - headed by Mr Justice Blake - who ruled that the son cannot now be deported and it would be unreasonable to expect him to move to Nigeria.

"In all the circumstances of the appellant's case and the best interests of his child we do not consider that the interference with the family and private life can be justified by the public interest identified in this case," said the immigration judges. "Deportation of the appellant would not be a proportionate measure and is not a fair balance between the competing interests."

He is currently serving 16 months at Verne prison on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, but when freed he will be allowed to remain in Britain indefinitely.

Omotunde and his fellow criminals made 200 false claims using 88 web-based bank accounts during a five-month period in 2004. Omotunde was one of four principal account holders, although the trial judge ruled he was not a central figure in the fraud. He was arrested in March 2007, convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to transfer criminal property at Croydon Crown Court in June 2008.

Judges said Omotunde - also known by the first name "Wale" - was "drawn into the wrongdoing to the tune of about £41,600". Five other defendants received jail terms of between four and a half years and two years, while a sixth was given a 14 month suspended sentence.

When The Sunday Telegraph contacted relatives of Omotunde about his case he telephoned from prison just over an hour later. He declined to comment on the case. It is unclear how Omotunde's relatives were able to send a message to the inmate so promptly, because mobile telephones and email are banned in jails.

The Sunday Telegraph has also discovered that Omotunde, who lives in Lewisham, south-east London, was registered as the sole director of an events planning company, Lawiomot Magnificus Ventures Ltd, in August 2010, just over two years after he was jailed. There is nothing to prevent anyone convicted of fraud setting up a company in this way.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rick Perry Wants $349 Million For Jailing Illegals

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry has requested $349.2 million dollars. Apparently, this small sum is the amount that Texas has spent incarcerating and housing illegal immigrants. The GOP frontrunner apparently penned the note back on August 10th, though the DHS will not even confirm that they have received the invoice.

In the past, Perry has been criticized for not being tough enough on illegal immigrants. Of course, in this case "not being tough enough" means not supporting a giant wall like Michele Bachmann or claiming that Arizona's immigration regulations "might not be right for Texas." Perry's immigration position has almost always been centered around increasing border security, and this letter is just his way of urging the DHS to help out.

But does he have a point? Illegal immigration is fundamentally a federal problem, as is border security, and if it's really costing Texas this much money to deal with illegal immigrants, something needs to be done. I'm not saying that something is a wall or deploying troops across the border, but Perry has a point that this is not a cheap problem for Texans to deal with.

Of course, the DHS isn't going to pay him anything - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has already tried this trick this year and got nothing to show for it. Oh, and if you want to go back further, the last Arizona Governor also tried to bill D.C. for her state's immigration expenses. Who might that have been? None other than current DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.


Immigration to Britain is no longer taboo – but tackling it still is

The Coalition has merely tinkered with the rules on who gets into Britain, rather than taking real action.

Immigration used to be the great unmentionable. If anyone pointed out the rate at which it was increasing, and the problems for infrastructure, education and the NHS of adding two million people to our population every decade, they were accused of being racist. I know: it happened to me.

It was an effective way of preventing the topic from being discussed, and was frequently used by Labour ministers for precisely that purpose. But at the last election, it was impossible to prevent the issue – which everyone knew was one of the most important for voters – from being raised. The Tories came up with measures that they promised would diminish the number of immigrants, to which the Lib Dems, when they became partners in government, reluctantly agreed.

So it must have been depressing for the Conservative members of the Coalition to see last week’s Office for National Statistics figures, which showed that, far from going down, net immigration (the number of foreigners settling in Britain minus the number of Britons leaving) has risen by 20 per cent, to reach 239,000.

Those statistics are, admittedly, from 2010, when the Coalition’s policies had not yet been implemented. And the net increase is entirely the result of a reduction in the number of Britons leaving the country, rather than an increase in the number of immigrants arriving.

Nevertheless, the figures still raise the delicate question of whether the Coalition’s policies will actually succeed in reducing immigration. The first thing to note is that they certainly could do so. Nick Clegg was simply wrong when he insisted that controls are pointless, because most of the people who settle in the UK are from countries in the EU. In fact, 80 per cent of migrants to Britain are from outside the EU, so there is no legal barrier to restricting significantly the number who are allowed to settle. Nothing, in principle, stops the Government from putting effective controls in place. The difficulties are essentially practical.

So the real question is this: how badly do ministers want to cut immigration? The Lib Dems certainly don't want to do anything: they are frank about regarding controls as either economically damaging or blatantly racist. The Tories say they’re committed to achieving dramatic cuts. But so far, the Coalition hasn’t done more than tinker around the edges of the system – as Damian Green, the immigration minister, must have known, even as he said on Thursday that ministers had initiated “radical changes”.

Around half of the immigrants who arrive each year are foreign students and their dependants. The Coalition’s new regulations require students to speak English, and to provide evidence that they can support themselves and the family members who come with them. It’s a start – but it’s not a “radical change”. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, claims that the rules will reduce the number of students and their relatives by 80,000. But no one knows how easy it will be to evade the new controls. They will be based largely on form-filling: if you tick the right boxes, you will get your visas. Our judges may anyway declare the new procedure by violation of human rights: the decision in a case that will test whether the Government can refuse to let an Indian man, who can’t speak English and refuses to learn, join his wife here is expected soon.

The Coalition also plans to end the link between being given a permit to work in the UK and having the right to settle here. That could diminish immigration significantly. The problem is that the proposal is just that: a proposal, not a policy. It is subject to consultation, a process which may enfeeble it. Whether it will be implemented at all remains to be seen.

The Conservatives have broken the taboo on discussing immigration. But what is still not being discussed are the practical measures that will be effective in diminishing it. That topic is still off limits – which means that it is surrounded by confusion, half-truths and spin. And that is not good for immigration policy. Or for democracy.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Massachusetts a safe haven for criminals

The death of a Milford man, allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant, is sparking a call for change, and now a top official in Worcester County is pointing the finger at Governor Patrick. Sheriff Lew Evangelidis announced today that Worcester County has officially requested to join the Secure Communities program, even though the state as a whole opted out it.

The program shares the fingerprints of people arrested by police with ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in hopes of getting dangerous illegal immigrants off the streets.

The sheriff says the program may have prevented the death of 23-year-old Matthew Denice in a drunk driving crash last weekend, a crash allegedly caused by illegal immigrant Nicolas Guaman, who has a lengthy criminal record.

“I believe the governor by not joining this today is not putting the safety of the citizens of Massachusetts first,” said Sheriff Evangelidis. “He's failed to join more than 40 other states who have already joined Secure Communities. He's made us a national safe haven, for criminal aliens.”

The governor responded to the growing chorus of critics, saying, “Illegal immigration didn't kill this person. A drunk driver killed this person and we have laws about that, and I expect the book to be thrown at this person.”

Critics of the Secure Communities program say it terrorizes an already suspicious immigrant community.

ICE has also received requests to activate Secure Communities from the Bristol and Plymouth County sheriffs as well as the Franklin police.

It's important to point out that ICE is no longer asking or requiring states to sign onto Secure Communities. It plans to roll out the program all over the country, including Massachusetts by 2013, like it or not.


Canadian refugee plan catches flak

Giving failed refugee claimants thousands of dollars to return home could make Canada’s “broken” immigration system vulnerable to even more abuse, says an immigration expert.

Herbert Grubel, of the Fraser Institute, called the federal government’s plan to give failed refugee claimants $2,000 each as incentive to leave Canada promptly will attract fraudulent claimants and unscrupulous immigration consultants looking for a payday.

“The idea is right, but ... it will also create the wrong incentive, (with) more people coming here and making claims they know are questionable,” said Grubel, who recently wrote a paper on the “huge fiscal burden” immigrants have on Canadians.

The Canadian government plans next June to implement the Assisted Voluntary Returns program, where failed claimants in a 2012 pilot project will receive a financial incentive of $2,000 to leave Canada.

The money would be sent to a non-governmental organization in a failed refugee’s respective country, according to the plan. The organization would provide the cash to the claimant upon their return to use for business pursuits, education or vocational training, confirmed a spokesman for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

The project will be aimed at more than 1,900 failed claimants, costing taxpayers $12 million.

Grubel conceded the plan might “get some people to go back home who would otherwise hang around and burden our justice system.” However, he argued there’s no telling how many more will take advantage of Canada’s healthcare and welfare systems while they wait for a decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Immigration lawyer Sergio Karas called the program a slap in the face to the process.

“This is bad policy because it undermines the rule of law,” Karas said. “People who have had the right to due process, have gone through the system and have been determined to not to have a valid claim should not be paid for obeying a deportation order.”

Karas insisted such a program will attract scammers looking to cash in. The United Kingdom’s controversial incentive program is a good example, he said.

The United Kingdom’s Daily Mail reported in 2007 that failed refugee claimants had been receiving over $6,400 each to return to their country of origin. After returning home, some used the money to open businesses such as a beauty salon, a vineyard and an ostrich farm.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Migration to the UK rose 20 per cent to 239,0000 last year, figures show

Net migration to the UK rose by more than 20 per cent last year to 239,000, official figures showed today.

The increase from 198,000 in 2009 was fuelled by a fall in the number of people leaving the UK and goes against the Government's pledge to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands by 2015.

Long-term immigration was 575,000, similar to the levels seen since 2004, while long-term emigration fell to 336,000 from 427,000 in 2008, estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.

Study remained the most common reason for those coming to the UK, with three in four of the 228,000 who come to the UK for study coming from outside the EU. But the number of people coming to the UK for a definite job was at its lowest in more than six years, at 110,000. And the number of those leaving the UK for work-related reasons was at its lowest for three years at 179,000, the ONS estimates showed.

The number of people granted settlement in the UK reached a record 241,000 last year, partly due to the number of people being allowed to stay as the backlog of asylum cases was cleared, other figures published by the Home Office showed.

Work-related grants of settlement also reached a record last year of 84,000, reflecting high numbers admitted for work five years earlier.

But figures for the first half of this year showed an 8 per cent fall in the number of people being granted settlement, down to 208,000, with falls in both the work and family categories.

A total of 195,000 people were granted British citizenship last year, down from the record high of 204,000 in 2009 but more than double the level of a decade earlier.

The number of people applying for asylum also fell in 2010, but has started to rise again this year with 4,800 applications between April and June, up 9 per cent from the same quarter in 2010, mainly due to an increase in applications from Pakistan and Libya, the figures showed

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "After almost two years of increasing net migration the figures stabilised in the last quarter.

"This explains why the Government radically changed immigration policy, from our first months in office, to drive the numbers down with a limit on economic migration and changes to student visas to ensure we attract the brightest and best whilst tackling widespread abuse of the system.

"We are currently consulting on a range of further measures which will drive down numbers further.

"These statistics cover a period before we introduced our radical changes to the immigration system to bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands."


Australia: Soft line spurred on people smugglers, says Kevin Rudd aide

A SENIOR Labor strategist admitted to US embassy officials as long ago as 2009 that Labor's decision to dismantle the Howard government's Pacific Solution was partly responsible for the resurgence of the people-smuggling trade.

A diplomatic cable sent from the US embassy in Canberra in the wake of a 2009 boat explosion off Ashmore Reef that killed five asylum-seekers, has provided a unique insight into Washington's take on the Australian asylum debate. The cable, released yesterday by WikiLeaks, said while the number of asylum-seekers venturing to Australia remained "relatively small", the numbers were rising steadily and that the asylum debate in Australia was "highly emotive".

"Border protection was widely credited as a major factor in the conservative Coalition's 2001 election victory," the cable states.

The cable quotes the views of a "leading ALP strategist" on what was causing the revival in boat arrivals, which dropped sharply after the Howard government introduced the "Pacific Solution" of offshore processing in Nauru and on Manus Island.

"A leading ALP strategist told Consulate Perth that he thought the increased incidence of asylum-seekers resulted from a combination of Australia's softer immigration policy and a global increase in refugee movements," the cable reports.

The views of the strategist, whose identity is not revealed, largely contradict the official government line at the time, which refused to acknowledge that the Rudd government's decision to dismantle the Pacific Solution and abolish temporary protection visas may have played some role in luring asylum-seekers.

Instead, then immigration minister Chris Evans attributed the revival of the smuggling trade to instability in source countries, such as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Citing briefings from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, US embassy officials also describe the transformation of the people-smuggling scene, in particular the proliferation of smaller operators.

"Small, independent smugglers are replacing the larger operators in part because of Indonesia's success - bolstered by help and training from the Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs - in stopping the major people-smugglers, who exerted the most corrupting influence on the military, politicians and police," the cable says.

"Asylum-seekers have the money to pay/bribe the small providers, and the boats are leaving from many more coves and inlets than before, greatly complicating the coastguard's task."

The cable, dated April 17, 2009, was written a day after the explosion of an asylum-seeker boat near Ashmore Reef off the northwest coast of Australia. The blast occurred after asylum-seekers sabotaged the boat, pouring petrol into the bilges.

The cable paints a picture of the asylum debate as it stood in early 2009. It says the Coalition, at that point lagging "far behind" in the polls, was seeking to reignite the border security debate to emulate the success it had enjoyed in 2001.

But US officials played down the significance of the debate, which at that stage was just beginning to unfold. They said the economy, rather than border security, was "foremost in the minds of 'working families' " at the time.

"It is difficult to envisage Rudd significantly hardening immigration policy," the officials observe. "This would alienate the Left of his party, and possibly undermine Australia's bid for a UN Security Council seat."

The authors of the document even go so far as to say the issue could "backfire on the Coalition" by alienating Liberal moderates who were uncomfortable with the hardline stance of the Howard years.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said yesterday the WikiLeaks disclosures highlighted the government's culpability for the chaos their policy changes had wrought.

"For more than two years, the ALP has known that their soft policies were a pull factor drawing boats to Australia and doing nothing about it," Mr Morrison said.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

£10bn legacy of shambles over asylum: 'Labour Party failings have left 250,000 illegals'

Labour spent £2million every day on a shambolic asylum system which failed to remove hundreds of thousands of bogus claimants, reveals a blistering study.

An audit of the last government’s record reveals how officials spent as much as £10billion processing applications as they struggled to cope with a surge in numbers.

But only one in four of the 660,000 decisions made on asylum claims between 1997 and 2010 led to the applicant being removed.

Even where the claim was considered to be unfounded, the majority of failed asylum-seekers were not sent home. They are now living here illegally.

Last night, immigration minister Damian Green said it was a symptom of the ‘hopeless chaos’ which Labour inflicted on the UK’s border controls.

The study by the MigrationWatch think-tank found that 660,000 asylum cases were decided from 1997 to 2010.

Some form of humanitarian protection, including asylum, was granted in 243,000 cases. This left 417,000 claimants who were rejected and should have left the UK. But only 151,540 – or 36 per cent – of those denied asylum were removed. Another 8,615 were found to have left without telling the authorities.

This means more than 250,000 have neither left nor been removed and are therefore presumed to remain in the UK illegally, MigrationWatch said.

Its report also found that between 2008 and 2010, 59 per cent of claims were lodged only after the person had been detected by the authorities. Asylum-seekers with genuine claims are supposed to claim at the first possible opportunity – not after they have been caught working illegally or sneaking into the country.

Britain was also found to approve more claims than France, through which many claimants pass to reach the allegedly ‘soft touch’ UK. In 2009, Britain granted permission to stay in 28 per cent of cases, compared with 19 per cent in France. Under Labour, the annual number of asylum cases increased hugely from 32,500 in 1997 to a peak of 85,000 in 2002.

MigrationWatch chairman Sir Andrew Green said: ‘The asylum system has proved to be a £10billion shambles. Those who, like ourselves, are serious about protecting genuine refugees should be no less serious about removing bogus claimants. ‘The system needs to be much faster. Delays leave the door open for appeals based on the right to family life.

‘It also needed to be much tougher on the bogus. It is absurd that we allow people who have been in Britain illegally for years to claim asylum to delay or prevent their removal; this applies to almost 60 per cent of claimants.’

The study estimated the cost of asylum since 1999 at close to £10billion, including legal aid and court costs. This includes £2.8billion for temporary accommodation, £927million on payments to support those awaiting a ruling and almost £500million for failed claimants who cannot return home or are taking steps to leave the UK.

The report, based on research published by the Home Office, warns it is difficult to know exactly what happened in every case because of the chaos and confusion of recent years. Five years ago, ministers identified more than 400,000 ‘legacy cases’ which officials had never resolved. Some have since been granted settlement or removed.

Mr Green, the immigration minister, said: ‘The system we inherited was hopelessly chaotic and did not provide the taxpayer with value for money. ‘Last year, we reduced the bill for asylum support by over £100million and it is falling further this year.

‘We have nearly doubled the proportion of asylum-seekers removed within a year of their application and around 60 per cent of applicants receive a decision within a month.’


Australia, PNG sign MOU on Manus I. detention for illegals

The federal government and Papua New Guinea have signed a memorandum of understanding on reopening Manus Island to process asylum seekers.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the MOU was signed on Friday afternoon and signals an important step in the process of establishing what he says will be an Australian-funded 'assessment centre'.

'The Manus Island centre will complement the Malaysia transfer arrangement and provide further disincentive for people considering risking their lives on dangerous boat journeys,' Mr Bowen said in a statement.

'This MOU sends a clear message that countries in this region are working together towards a lasting regional response.'

The MOU provides a framework to how the detention centre will operate.

Mr Bowen said the two countries were working to have it operational 'at the earliest opportunity'.

The MOU recognises the need for a regional solution to people smuggling and notes that both countries are signatories to the UN convention on refugee rights.

It also commits to treating detainees with dignity and respect, to processing them as quickly as possible, while noting that Australia will bear all the costs of their assessments.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New British immigration system just makes work for forgers

The Brits wonder why more Indians than ever are arriving under the new "restrictive" system. Documents forged in India and Pakistan are very hard to check. They caught a local document wallah but they will never catch the ones abroad

The Minister of State for Immigration in the UK, Damian Green, has claimed the UK is "no longer an easy touch", amidst news of the sentencing of a legal advisor, who masterminded a major immigration scam.

Ravi Gupta, 41, who was living in Hayes, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail and recommended for deportation at the end of his sentence. He was convicted of supplying his clients with fraudulent documents for the purposes of aiding their UK visa immigration applications, allowing them to falsify their income details.

Gupta charged up to £5,000 for each application. Following an undercover investigation by the West London immigration crime team, his scam was uncovered and he admitted 14 charges of assisting illegal immigration and an additional charge of obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.

An agency spokesman said: "When someone was coming to an end of their visa he would assist them with the fake certificates or pay slips to make it look as if they were in far better jobs and were more highly skilled then they actually were. But typically the clients were in low paid jobs such as working in supermarkets, restaurants or cleaning jobs that wouldn't count."

Immigration Minister Green used the opportunity to claim: “This case shows we have stepped up action to tackle serious and organized abuse of our immigration system. The message is clear - the UK is no longer an easy touch." He continued: "This summer we are targeting our efforts on breaking up the gangs behind visa scams, hitting rogue employers who repeatedly break the rules and doing more than ever to stop unwanted people coming to the UK."

Gupta’s sentencing comes after news of eight people being arrested in Bangladesh following the discovery of fake visa by UK Border Agency staff in Dhaka last month, working with the agency’s Risk and Liaison overseas network (RALON). A huge haul of fake visas, stolen passports and immigration stamps were uncovered in a factory that served a major visa forgery ring.

UK Border Agency officers are given detailed detection training and last year discovered over 27,000 forged travel documents used to support visa applications globally.


Recent posts at CIS below

See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.

1. Steven Camarota Discusses Amnesty on the O'Reilly Factor (Video)

2. Steven Camarota Discusses Amnesty Public Radio (Radio Interview)

3. Mark Krikorian Discusses Alabama Enforcement Law on CNN (Video)

4. Is There a Shortage of Skilled Foreign Workers? (Backgrounder)

5. DHS Admits: 'Non-legislative amnesty' would be 'controversial, not to mention expensive.' (Blog)

6. An Unhappy Hershey Experience (Blog)

7. White House Embraces Administrative Amnesty After Failing to get Congress on Board (Blog)

8. Obama Amnesty Gives A Pass to ID Theft, and Other Crimes (Blog)

9. Ms. Munoz, the White House, and Straw Men Arguments (Blog)

10. Yes, He Did! Yes, He Did! (Blog)

11. The Challenge of Dutch National Identity (Blog)

12. Surprise! Quasi-Amnesty Extended for Some Liberians (Blog)

13. Testimony Suggests DHS Is Handling Immigration Badly in the Marianas (Blog)

14. Failed Campaign Slogan #108: 'Affirmative Action for Immigrants!' (Blog)

15. Christian Duty and Illegal Immigrants (Blog)

16. Half-Measures Don't Work (Blog)

17. It's That Old Patchwork Quilt Again (Blog)

18. Basic, Upgraded, or Premium? (Blog)

19. Alabama Lawsuit Highlights Growth of Open-Border Groups (Blog)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

President's immigration plan creates confusion

A generally unnoticed aspect of the plan is the assertion by the Obama admin. that the immigration service has the capacity to deport serious criminals only. That's a heck of a lot of serious criminals! Around 400,000 in fact. It is graphic testimony to the high rate of criminality among illegals

President Obama's plan to put some deportations on hold is causing controversy and confusion.

Jess George with the Latin American Coalition says some so-called immigration lawyers are already coming out of the woodwork. "[They're] making people think that they may now be eligible for work permits or perhaps they should turn themselves in so they could forego the deportation process, that's absolutely not true," said Jess George, Executive Director of the Latin-American Coalition.

The Obama administration announced last week it would focus on deporting illegal immigrants who mainly pose a threat to national security or public safety. The decision allows many illegal immigrants, particularly students, to stay in the country.

The announcement comes after months of pleas from immigrant advocates. They pushed the president to make good on his election promises. "While it's a good thing for the movement, it's a good thing for the country moving towards pragmatic and humane laws, it's not a change," said George.

But some critics call the President's decision amnesty and an attempt to gain Latino voters.

"It's a type of pretty evil propaganda, well you say okay, we'll give amnesty to just the students, it's no fault of their own, boom, boom, 12,000 plus illegal immigrants will be having amnesty before you know it, " said William Gheen, president of Raleigh-based Americans for Legal Immigration.

The plan means about 300,000 deportation cases pending in Federal court will now be reviewed case by case.

George says it's far from amnesty, nor does it provide much security to illegal immigrants who think the Oval Office decision will put them on a path to citizenship.


USCIS Expands E-Verify Self-Check To 16 Additional States, Spanish Speakers

The Devil will be in the detail here but this should help scupper claims that the system is unrelible. If people can submit corrections to their own entry false positives should be eliminated

The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Aug. 15 expanded E-Verify self-check, a service that allows individuals to check their own employment eligibility status before seeking employment, to 16 additional states.

In addition, E-Verify self-check is now available in Spanish, USCIS said.

E-Verify self-check was launched in March in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia, and the District of Columbia (29 HRR 319, 3/28/11).

The service is now accessible to residents in California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

“Self-check equips workers with fast, secure access to their employment eligibility information before they apply for jobs,” USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas said in an Aug. 15 statement. “By offering self-check to Spanish speakers and making the service more widely available, USCIS makes good on a promise to streamline and protect the integrity of the E-Verify process for employees and employers alike.”

Self-Check Offered Directly to Workers.

The self-check service allows U.S. workers to enter data into the E-Verify system to ensure the information relating to their work eligibility is accurate. It is the first online E-Verify program offered directly to workers and job seekers, USCIS said.

Employers use the internet-based E-Verify to determine employees' eligibility to work in the United States by entering information reported on the employee's Form I-9. When workers over age 16 use the self-check program, they enter the same information that employers would enter into E-Verify, USCIS said.

The self-check service is free and voluntary, and gives users the opportunity to submit corrections of any inaccuracies in their DHS or Social Security Administration records before applying for jobs.

The agency said it will “continue to evaluate and improve” the self-check service. USCIS intends to expand self-check nationwide by the spring of 2012, the agency said.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Curry protest!

It takes a lot to start a mass campaign with political overtones in Singapore, but there’s no better catalyst than food. Tens of thousands of people in the south-east Asian city-state said they would cook or eat curry on Sunday in a protest highlighting growing anger over increased immigration.

The campaign began after an immigrant family from China complained about the smell of curry from a Singaporean Indian neighbour’s home and local officials brought about a compromise.

A Facebook page devoted to the row after reports were published in a local newspaper has drawn over 57,600 members, many of whom said they were cooking curry on Sunday in a show of solidarity with the Indian family. “Because we live in Singapore and Singapore is such a cramped place, neighbours should understand each others’ culture,” said Stanley Wong, a 37-year-old accountant who helped organised the Facebook page.

He and a dozen friends and family were gathering in a small government-built flat for a curry dinner. Most of the diners were ethnic Chinese, like the overwhelming majority of Singapore’s 5.1m people. But residents say curry is a Singaporean dish and that immigrants, including those from mainland China, should accept it is part of the local culture.

“The case could create problems with the integration of foreign nationals,” said Florence Leow, a freelance writer in her 40s who also was one of the organisers of the event. “Through this event we hope to cook and share a pot of curry and get to appreciate and embrace our culture.”

The influx of immigrants is a sensitive subject in Singapore, where only about two-thirds of the people are citizens. Many Singaporeans say the city-state’s relatively easy immigration policies are attracting too many foreigners, making it more difficult to find jobs and pushing up prices of homes.

Immigration was a major issue during the campaign for the May general election, which was easily won by the ruling People’s Action party, although its winning margin dropped sharply.

Singapore holds presidential elections on Saturday, which are non-partisan but are expected to be an unofficial referendum on the ruling party with Tony Tan, a former leading member and former deputy prime minister, one of the four candidates.


Poll finds Swiss divided over immigration

A majority of Swiss are not worried about a rise in immigration as a result of the free movement of people in the Schengen zone, a poll has found.

The poll published in the SonntagsBlick newspaper on Sunday found 59 per cent of respondents said immigration by European workers was not a concern, whereas 40 per cent said they were “rather” or “very” concerned. It is a particular worry for people aged over 54 and those with a basic level of education.

Around half were happy with the actual number of foreigners in Switzerland: 48 per cent said foreigners making up 22.1 per cent of the population was “good”, while 34 per cent said it was “much too high”.

Young people and French-speaking Swiss were more open towards immigration: 56 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds and 64 per cent of French-speakers said they were satisfied with the current number of immigrants. In German-speaking parts, 43 per cent approved of the ratio.

However most of those polled (80 per cent) agreed that foreigners helped make the economy prosperous.

The poll, carried out by the Demoscope Institute for the SonntagsBlick, questioned 1,002 people from German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Perry sounds off on immigration

Taking questions from reporters for the first time since Monday as he wrapped up a campaign swing here, Texas Gov. Rick Perry defended and expanded on his record on immigration policy — a record with positions that parts of the Republican base reject.

As governor, Perry’s supported allowing illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition rates at Texas universities and opposed Arizona’s strict state immigration law — despite signing a law in Texas that critics call similarly repressive.

“Here’s what you need to understand about me, is I’m a big believer in the 10th Amendment,” Perry said. States are the ones that should decide how they set university tuition rates and how they enforce immigration laws, he said.

“I didn’t think that the state of Texas, an Arizona-exact law was right for the state of Texas,” he said. “I didn’t want to make our law enforcement officers federal immigration officers. So state-by-state ought to be the way to do that, not by the federal government, one-size-fits-all.”

But Perry called for federal involvement on the issue when a reporter pointed out that the Constitution assigns the federal government responsibility for immigration.

“Once we secure the border, we can have a conversation about immigration reform in this country, but not until. You must have the federal government putting the resources, the boots on the ground, the aviation assets in the air, and secure that border so that we know the border is secure before we have a conversation about any immigration reform,” he said.

To a follow-up about whether illegal immigrants who serve in the armed forces should be allowed to become citizens, he said, “Yes sir, I think there is a path to citizenship for those young men and women who have served their country.”


Foreigners arrested in Britain riots to be deported

We'll believe it when we see it

More than 150 foreign nationals arrested after the riots in Britain will be deported, a media report said Saturday.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said they will be thrown out of Britain at the 'earliest opportunity'.

Around 150 of the 2,800 people held over the looting and arson attacks were born abroad, the Daily Mail said quoting the UK Border Agency.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said Friday: "We strongly believe that foreign national lawbreakers should be removed from the UK at the earliest opportunity."

"We also have the power to cancel the visas of foreign nationals found guilty of criminal activity, and this is something we will be looking to do when cases arise," the Mail quoted him as saying.

Under immigration rules, criminals from outside Europe are automatically put forward for deportation if they are sentenced to 12 months in prison.

The same applies to Europeans given a 12-month sentence for drugs, violent or sexual crimes, or 24 months for other crimes, the Mail said.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Obama's Administrative Amnesty‏

Yesterday, President Obama used the pretext of “prosecutorial discretion” to authorize an administrative amnesty. The Center for Immigration Studies has followed this story closely and has created a "topic page" to condense all related publications onto one page. Although it is currently a short list, it will surely expand over the coming weeks.

The topic page is located here

The blog excerpt below, by Executive Director Mark Krikorian, will give you a quick overview on the Center's position:

"In an announcement I would have expected them to try to bury on a Friday afternoon instead of Thursday, the administration said it would review the cases of 300,000 illegal aliens already in removal proceedings — and not just let some of them go, but give them work authorization as well.

This is further proof, as if any is needed, that the administration is using the pretext of “prosecutorial discretion” as a tool of policy. In other words, any executive needs to exercise some discretion, because the law is a blunt instrument and requires those carrying it out to have some wiggle room to deal with the handful of highly unusual cases that might warrant it. But this administration is using this necessary, but limited tool as an instrument of policymaking, which can only be described as a lawless act."

In addition to the information available on the topic page, Steven Camarota, the Center's Director of Research, is scheduled to appear on The O'Reilly Factor tonight for a discussion of the amnesty - be sure to watch.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at the phone numbers or email address below.

Bryan Griffith
Multimedia Director
Center for Immigration Studies
Work Phone: (202) 466-8185
Cell Phone: (202) 630-6533

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer: Obama Acts Like He's Above Law on Immigration

Republicans are attacking President Barack Obama for acting like a “king that is above the law” in deciding to pick and choose which illegal aliens to deport.

“The Obama administration cannot get its amnesty schemes through Congress, so now it has resorted to implementing its plans via executive fiat,” said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. “We need to remind President Obama that we elected a president that serves beneath the law and did not anoint a king that is above the law.”

Joining her criticisms were two other border-state Republicans, Reps. Michael McCaul and Lamar Smith of Texas. “It’s just the latest attempt by this president to bypass the intended legislative process when he does not get his way,” McCaul said.

Smith said, “The Obama administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them."

And Florida Rep. Allen West jumped into the fray, too, calling for a House investigation into the guidelines. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, he accused Obama of “shredding the Constitution” with the new guidelines. “It is a form of amnesty and it does go against our Constitution and it very much concerns me because now we are rewarding people for an illegal activity,” he said.

“Think about the strain that is going to come on the types of services and things that we have to provide,” West added, saying aliens are getting a free pass.

The plan, called Secure Communities was first announced in June in an agency memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton. But battle lines are being drawn only now following a letter Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sent Democratic senators outlining its plans.

A posting on the ICE website calls it a “simple and common sense way to carry out ICE's priorities,” as it is designed to focus deportation efforts on “criminal aliens, those who pose a threat to public safety and repeat immigration law violators.”

But critics say it is too much like the stalled DREAM Act, a Democratic plan that would have given illegals a path to U.S. citizenship. “The plan amounts to backdoor amnesty for hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of illegal aliens,” said Brewer, who succeeded Napolitano in the governor’s office in Phoenix. “The president is encouraging more illegal immigration at the exact moment we need federal focus on border security.”

Brewer pointed to a speech Obama made to the Hispanic civil rights group, the National Council of La Raza, in Washington on July 25, in which he rejected the idea of imposing immigration reform without reference to Congress.

“He said, ‘Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. And, believe me, right now dealing with Congress, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.’

“President Obama got it right last month and got it really wrong today,” Brewer said. “Over the next 15 months I’m certain we’ll hear a lot of talk from the Obama administration about its concern for border security. Those of us who truly care about the rule of law will remember the president’s actions.”
Under the plan, Homeland Security and the Justice Department will review all deportation cases to see whether they meet 19 different criteria. About 300,000 deportation cases now under consideration will be included, she said.

Among factors that would be considered favorably are if the potential deportee has been in the United States since childhood, whether they have sought higher education or have served in the military and whether they are caregivers.

The White House insists that the plan is not a path to citizenship or permanent legal status or an amnesty. Cecilia Munoz, the White House’s intergovernmental affairs director, wrote on the White House blog that with an estimated 10 million people in the country illegally, limited resources should be focused on deporting “people who have been convicted of crimes or pose a security risk.”

Munoz said that, since 2008, there has been a 70 percent increase in the number of deportations of people with criminal records while the number of people deported who have no record has gone down.

Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “The message is that as long as you keep your nose clean and do not commit a serious crime, then you don’t have to worry about immigration law enforcement. That’s a pretty strong incentive to stick around.

“It really is attempting to achieve by executive fiat what the Congress won’t do and the American people don’t want, and that really requires a lot of audacity.”

While Republicans attacked the scheme, Democrats welcomed it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it would focus on “serious felons, gang members and individuals who are a national security threat rather than college students and veterans who have risked their lives for our country.

“I am especially pleased about the impact these new policies will have on those who would benefit from the DREAM Act. We lose a lot by sending them back to countries they do not know.”

And Jason Resnick, general counsel of Western Growers, which represents farming groups added, “We hope this is a move toward an immigration solution that works for agriculture. Even in this time of great unemployment, we are not seeing domestic workers apply for jobs.”


Friday, August 19, 2011

Obama throws open the doors to all but serious criminals

In a surprise announcement, the Obama administration said it will review the deportation cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants and might allow many of them to stay in the U.S., a decision that angered immigration hard-liners and pleased Hispanic advocacy groups.

Under the plan, federal authorities will review individually all cases of immigrants currently in deportation proceedings. Those who haven't committed crimes and who aren't considered a threat to public safety will have a chance to stay in the U.S. and to later apply for a work permit.

The shift could help counter growing discontent among Hispanic voters and immigration advocacy groups about record deportations; audits of businesses that have pushed undocumented workers underground; and the lack of progress toward overhauling the immigration system under President Barack Obama.

The announcement comes as several states seek to pass laws to crack down on illegal immigrants, including millions who flocked to the U.S. before the recession to take blue-collar jobs in construction, agriculture and hospitality.

A senior administration official described the move as an effort to better use limited immigration-enforcement resources and to alleviate pressure on overburdened immigration courts. The idea, this person said, is to "identify low-priority cases…and administratively close the case so they no longer clog the system." The official added that such cases could be reopened by the government at any time.

While the announcement doesn't address illegal immigrants who aren't involved in deportation proceedings, it could benefit them indirectly. "They will be less likely to enter the caseload to begin with, so we can focus on folks in the caseload who are high priority," said the administration official.

Critics described the decision as a step by the administration toward offering amnesty for illegal immigrants. "The Obama administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them," said Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas), head of the House Judiciary Committee.

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which lobbies against legalization, said: "In essence, the administration has declared that U.S. immigration is now virtually unlimited to anyone willing to try to enter—subject only to those who commit violent felonies after arrival."

Others welcomed the move. Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a nonpartisan advocacy organization, described it as a "step forward" and a "sound policy decision that uses valuable law-enforcement resources to remove those who once caused harm but keeps contributing members of the immigrant community here."

The majority of agricultural workers are in the U.S. illegally. "We hope this is a move toward an immigration solution that works for agriculture," said Jason Resnick, general counsel of Western Growers, a California-based association that represents produce growers. "Even in this time of great unemployment, we are not seeing domestic workers apply for jobs."

Ordinarily, illegal immigrants can't get work permits, and most never apply for fear of opening themselves up to deportation. The new plan would enable some to get permits, said the administration official, who didn't elaborate other than to say decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nevada) outlining the plan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that an interagency working group would execute a "case-by-case review of all individuals currently in removal proceedings to ensure that they constitute our highest priorities."

Administration officials said low-priority cases likely to be shelved include individuals brought to the U.S. as children by their parents, undocumented spouses of U.S. military personnel and immigrants who have no criminal record.

"This process will allow additional federal enforcement resources to be focused on border security and the removal of public safety threats," Ms. Napolitano said in the letter.

Current immigration policy aims to deport illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes, but critics say it is snaring too many immigrants who have committed only minor offenses, like traffic violations, or who have called the police to report a crime. Controversy over a key element of the policy, the Secure Communities program, is threatening the president's relations with the Hispanic community.

This week, there have been protests in several cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, prompted by the surge in deportations and administration plans to expand the program.

More than 390,000 people were removed from the U.S. in each of the last two years, surpassing previous years. Immigration courts are so jammed it can often take more than a year for a judge to rule on a deportation case.

U.S. immigration policy has eclipsed the economy and jobs as the top issue for Hispanic voters, according to a national poll released in June. To Hispanic voters, Mr. Obama has touted his support for an immigration overhaul that would put illegal immigrants on the path to legalization, and has bemoaned a lack of support from Republicans.

The immigration issue is a critical one for Mr. Obama as he prepares for reelection. He won 67% of the Hispanic vote in 2008. Republicans are unlikely to significantly increase their share of the Hispanic vote, but Mr. Obama needs Latinos to turn out in large numbers.

An effort to pass the Dream Act, which would allow certain young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay, failed at the end of last year and has little chance in the Republican-controlled House. The prospects for comprehensive immigration legislation, which would provide a path to citizenship for a broader group of illegal immigrants, are even worse.

Hispanic lawmakers have called on the Obama administration to hold off deporting any young people who would qualify for legal residency under the Dream Act. Last month, four House Democrats wrote Mr. Obama arguing that most of those being deported "are not criminals and pose no threat to our country's security."


Is There a Shortage of Skilled Foreign Workers?

Report Looks Beyond Anecdotes

There have been numerous recent proposals to increase the admission of skilled workers from abroad, such as the IDEA Act (HR 2161), introduced by Rep. Zoe Logren, ranking Democrat on the House immigration subcommittee. The premise of such proposals is that our country faces a shortage of skilled workers and that our current immigration system doesn't admit enough of them.

To assess these claims, the Center for Immigration Studies has published a paper examining some of the issues surrounding the question of skilled immigration. The paper, entitled 'Is There a Shortage of Skilled Foreign Workers?' is written by Center Fellow David North. The findings include:

There are about 10 million Americans with STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) not working in those fields.

Each year, some 200,000 additional skilled foreign workers are admitted through a variety of existing visa programs.

At least one million skilled nonimmigrant workers are in the United States at any one time.

The large majority of foreign PhD recipients already remain in the United States under current law.

In examining the details of proposals to increase skilled immigration it's clear that they would lead mainly to the admission of large numbers of unremarkable workers since those who truly are the 'best and brightest' already have ways of entering or staying in the U.S.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: Contact: Bryan Griffith, 202-466-8185,

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rick Perry and Immigration

The Houston Chronicle has published a list of "Ten things about Rick Perry that may worry some conservatives." Some items are stronger than others, but expect to hear immigration come up.

Although he's called for troops on the Mexican border and cracking down on sanctuary cities, he's also been sympathetic to DREAM Act-style policies while distancing himself from Arizona's SB 1070.

From the Chronicle story: "'During his time as governor of Texas, Rick Perry consistently supported allowing illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition at Texas' state colleges and universities,' says an assessment of Perry's immigration record by NumbersUSA." The restrictionist group gives Perry a D minus on the issue.

Of course, George W. Bush and John McCain were both prominent advocates of "comprehensive immigration reform" and this rather conspicuously did not prevent them from being nominated.


Why Is Amnesty International Attacking Canada?

It is a rare occurrence when a top government official comes out – on the record – to attack a human rights group. But that is what happened last week when Canada's Immigration Minister ripped into Amnesty International after it criticized Canada's plan to crack down on alleged war criminals hiding out in Canada.

Earlier this month, the secretaries general of Amnesty International's Canadian branches, Alex Neve and Béatrice Vaugrante, wrote an open letter to Canadian government ministers Vic Toews and Jason Kenney to express outrage over Canada's recent outing of 30 men residing in Canada – all of whom who are accused of war crimes.

Their names were published on a government website, asking for people to help find them. All were missing inside Canada's borders (six have since been arrested) and are wanted for deportation.

The men the Canadian government wishes to deport are not Canadian citizens. And they are not merely accused of war crimes: a quasi-judicial panel found there were reasonable grounds to believe the men were complicit in genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes -- and in some cases, there were voluntary admissions to these.

Cutting through the preachy jargon, the point Amnesty is making in its letter is that if Canada deports these immigrants, they probably will not face any further investigation or criminal charges;and that by deporting them, Canada may be violating its "international human rights obligations if they face the possibility of serious human rights violations." Read: If Canada sends them home, they may be persecuted in their native countries.

Kenney's response was fierce, taking the group to task on a number of fronts and rightly calling into question Amnesty's decision to single out the Canadians for scorn.

"Our primary duty as a government is to protect Canada and Canadians," wrote Kenney. "Deporting these men discharges this duty and ensures Canada will not become a sanctuary for international war criminals and serious human rights abusers."

Amnesty's preferred course of action – to prosecute these men in Canada – would cost taxpayers millions to try these men for crimes committed in other countries, often eons ago. Such a move would clog criminal courts even further than they are now. And it would give war criminals an extra incentive to try immigrating to Canada in the hopes of having a trial there, thus being able to stay longer while they wait and launch appeals.

Kenney's larger point is the key: Why is Amnesty attacking Canada? Amnesty's attack has the effect of lumping Canada in with some of the most repulsive countries Amnesty attacks, even though Canada has one of the most generous immigration systems in the world. Why focus such a disproportionate amount of energy on Canada and other free countries when there are so many unspeakable human rights violations taking place on a daily basis in unfree countries?

A quick check of the group's website shows that in the past year, Amnesty had 151 mentions of human rights issues in the United States, and yet only 140 for Iran, 20 for Cuba -- and a whopping 6 for North Korea. Perhaps Canada should aspire to be more like North Korea?

The Western democracies are paying a price for being transparent. Amnesty does not focus its energy on the biggest human rights abusers, but rather on documenting what it can to produce improvements and heighten public awareness. This is not conjecture: Amnesty confirmed in February 2007 that it reports disproportionately on more democratic and open countries with access to information rather than on worthier targets.

It must be strange to be an Amnesty donor and to see money being used to fund operations used principally to criticize one's own governments, while the organization remains relatively quiet on blood-curdling human rights abusers.

Amnesty is also lining its wallets. Earlier this year, the British newspapers revealed the salaries and bonuses given to senior Amnesty staff. Secretary General Irene Khan was paid £132,490 (USD $217,284) and received a severance package of four times that. As British parliamentarian Philip Davies noted, "I am sure people making donations to Amnesty, in the belief they are alleviating poverty, never dreamed they were subsidizing a fat cat payout. This will disillusion many benefactors."

Given this, plus its false outrage over Canada's recent move, plus Amnesty's long-standing hypocrisy in turning a blind eye to some of the most horrific human rights violators, it seems almost impossible to take Amnesty International seriously anymore.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

So what DOES it take to deport a criminal from Britain? Judge cuts drug-dealing migrant's sentence so he won't get kicked out

A judge cut the sentence of an illegal immigrant and drug dealer yesterday to help him escape deportation. Vincent Miller was kicked out of the UK twice but managed to return and stay for more than a decade by stealing the identities of British citizens.

Yet when the 33-year-old was sentenced, the judge said sending him home to Jamaica would be ‘devastating’ for his three children. Judge Farook Ahmed made his decision on Miller's case during proceedings at Inner London Crown Court yesterday, claiming if he was to be deported it would be 'devastating' for his children

Judge Farook Ahmed made his decision on Miller's case during proceedings at Inner London Crown Court yesterday, claiming if he was to be deported it would be 'devastating' for his children

Incredibly, he deliberately shortened the sentence Miller would have received from a year to 11 months. Criminals given 12 months face automatic deportation proceedings.

Recorder Farook Ahmed told Miller: ‘The sentence I have had in mind was 12 months, but it seems to me that it isn’t necessary for me to pass a sentence of 12 months because a sentence of 11 months will have the same effect, and it would take away the automatic triggering of deportation. I have taken into account that if you were to be deported it is bound to have a devastating effect on your three children, who I’m told are lawfully here in the UK.’

The judge’s decision provoked a fierce backlash. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the pressure group Migrationwatch, said: ‘This raises serious questions about the attitude of the judiciary towards the whole question of removing from Britain those who no longer have a right to be here. ‘To shorten the sentence of a criminal so as to allow him to stay simply beggars belief.’

Tory MP Dominic Raab said: ‘The sentence should be tailored to fit the crime, not avoid Parliament’s rules on deportation which are there to protect the public.’

The case follows a string of outrages where the Human Rights Act has blocked deportation on family grounds.

Criminals have been permitted to stay even where they do not have children or a wife, but only a girlfriend.

Miller arrived in Britain at Christmas in 2000 when he was given permission to stay for only four days.

He did not return home and was arrested and deported in February 2001 only to return that Easter under a stolen identity. Within two years he was deported for supplying class A drugs.

From abroad he successfully applied for a new passport in the name of another man, Joseph Roche, who had no idea his identity had been stolen. That second identity crime allowed him to obtain a driving licence and start work as a barber.

As a result of his fraud, his wife and their three children, aged two, four and six, were able to claim UK citizenship.

His crimes were uncovered only when the real Mr Roche applied for a replacement driving licence, and DVLA officials realised two people were claiming to be the same man.

Miller, of Herne Hill in South East London, was arrested on July 5 and claimed he had given up Mr Roche’s identity some time earlier. He later pleaded guilty to possessing another person’s identity document, three counts of conspiring to obtain property by deception and three counts of dishonestly making a false representation.

Anyone sentenced to more than a year in prison is automatically considered for deportation by the UK Border Agency.

But the judge at Inner London Crown Court said he would reduce the intended sentence to allow Miller to stay in the country and look after his children.

Judge Ahmed told him: ‘You subverted immigration rules and you were able to construct a life in the UK based on your deception. ‘I have taken into account that if you were to be deported it is bound to have a devastating effect on your three children, who I’m told are lawfully here in the UK.

‘At least one other person benefited from your conduct, and that is I’m told your former wife,’ said the judge. ‘She was able to become a UK national as a result of your assumption of Mr Roche’s identity.’

The judge said it was a significant aggravating factor that he had made a ‘wholesale assumption’ of Mr Roche’s identity, who was himself then suspected of being a criminal. ‘He is a real person and is entirely innocent,’ he said.

The Home Office insisted it would still seek to deport Miller at the end of his sentence. However, the Jamaican will be entitled to use Article 8 of the Human Rights Act – the right to a private and family life – to attempt to stay in the country.

Figures obtained by the Daily Mail show nearly 400 foreign criminals escaped deportation last year by using Article 8.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: ‘We will seek to remove this individual at the end of his sentence. If someone has no right to be in this country, and does not leave voluntarily, we will take action to enforce their removal.’


Obama's Backdoor amnesty

Homeland Security officials misled the public and Congress last year in an effort to downplay a wave of immigration case dismissals in Houston and other cities amid accusations that they had created a "back-door amnesty," newly released records show.

The records, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, include a series of internal memos from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's chief counsel in Houston dated last August ordering attorneys to review all new, incoming cases and thousands already pending on the immigration court docket and to file paperwork to dismiss any that did not meet the agency's "top priorities."

The secretive review process resulted in the dismissal of hundreds of cases in Houston, most of them involving illegal immigrants who had lived in the United States for years without committing serious crimes.

A string of emails shows the dismissals had the blessings of top attorneys at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., last summer and that other ICE legal offices across the country were encouraged to consider measures to better use the agency's limited resources to target dangerous criminals.

The records also document for the first time that the agency quietly rescinded the Houston memo on Aug. 25 — the day the Houston Chronicle broke the story on the dismissals — amid allegations from conservatives that the Obama administration had created a stealth amnesty program for illegal immigrants.

ICE public affairs officials in Washington initially refused either to confirm or deny the dismissals, and then told several news outlets that they affected only a very narrow class of illegal immigrants with pending green card applications described in a different agency memo. After Senate Judiciary Committee members demanded an investigation last fall into the Houston dismissals, Homeland Security officials reiterated the same claim they made to the media.

However, the newly released documents show conclusively that government attorneys in Houston were given wide latitude to file motions to dismiss cases, including some involving immigrants with convictions for primarily misdemeanor offenses.

"It now appears that DHS attempted to mislead the public and Congress on its policy of directing dismissals of cases against criminal aliens," said Jessica Sandlin, Sen. John Cornyn's Texas press secretary. "After this failed attempt at stonewalling and obstruction of the public's right to know, the truth is now coming out."

Sandlin vowed to "get to the bottom" of the case dismissals, meaning ICE leadership may have to account to Congress for what some critics are calling an attempted cover-up by the agency.

ICE officials declined to answer a reporter's questions about whether they intentionally misled the news media, the general public or Congress in connection with the dismissals. In a statement, the agency's spokeswoman, Barbara Gonzalez, said the Houston memos "misconstrued and exceeded the agency's official guidance" on prosecutorial discretion and were rescinded quickly.

However, the internal records show the Houston office's efforts were praised internally by supervisors at ICE headquarters in Washington until news of the dismissals broke. And immigration court data shows the number of cases dismissed nationally grew by about 40 percent last fiscal year, with several courts scattered across the country reporting major increases.

Immigrant advocates praised the dismissals as a common-sense measure, but the more lenient shift in agency policy has prompted protests from within ICE's rank-and-file, with union officials accusing the administration of straying from its core mission to enforce the nation's immigration laws.

Tre Rebstock, president of the Houston ICE union, said he was concerned that the agency's leadership may have jeopardized public safety by dismissing some cases involving immigrants with criminal records. But Rebstock said he was equally concerned about the official reaction to the controversy, saying it had the hallmarks of a cover-up.

"As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard than the public because we have the public's trust," Rebstock said. "And then they go and stand up in front of the Senate and throw all of their credibility out of the window when they say, 'Oh no, we weren't doing this. This wasn't our policy.'

"They did it," Rebstock said. "And then they lied - or misrepresented the truth, at the very least - about what they were doing."

Much more HERE

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

European Concerns Over Muslim Immigration Go Mainstream

A new opinion survey shows that more than half of all Europeans believe there are too many immigrants in their countries and that immigration is having a negative impact on their lives.

The findings – which come as Europeans are waking up to the consequences of decades of mass immigration from Muslim countries – point to a growing disconnect between European voters and their political masters regarding multicultural policies that encourage Muslim immigrants to remain segregated rather than become integrated into their host nations.

The survey results mirror the findings of dozens of other recent polls. Taken together, they provide ample empirical evidence that scepticism about Muslim immigration is not limited to a "right-wing" political fringe, as proponents of multiculturalism often assert. Mainstream voters across the entire political spectrum are now expressing concerns about the role of Islam in Europe.

The "Global Views on Immigration" survey was conducted by the London-based Ipsos global research firm and published on August 4. It polled citizens in nine European countries: Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

The poll shows a close correlation between the views the natives of a given country have about immigration and the number of, and level of, integration of Muslim immigrants in their countries.

For example, the poll finds that Belgians and Britons hold the most negative views on immigration; these countries also have some of the least integrated Muslim populations in Europe. The poll also shows that among Europeans, Poles have the most positive views on immigration and immigrants; Poland happens to have Europe's smallest Muslim community, which comprises less than 0.1% of that country's total population.

The Ipsos poll shows that as a whole, more than 56% of Europeans believe "there are too many immigrants" in their countries: Belgium (72%), Britain (71%), Italy (67%), Spain (67%), Germany (53%), France (52%), Hungary (50%), Sweden (46%) and Poland (29%).

In response to the polling question "Would you say that immigration has generally had a positive or negative impact?" majorities in all European countries except for Sweden and Poland say the impact has been negative: Belgium (72%), Britain (64%), Italy (56%), Spain (55%), France (54%), Germany (54%), Hungary (52%), Sweden (37%) and Poland (32%). As a whole, only 17.5% of Europeans say immigration has been positive.

Most Europeans also agree with the survey statement "Immigration has placed too much pressure on public services" in their country: Britain (76%), Spain (70%), Belgium (68%), Hungary (59%), Germany (58%), France (56%), Italy (56%), Sweden (40%) and Poland (27%).

The Ipsos survey mirrors the findings of a number of other recent polls which show that Europe's mainstream political parties are losing touch with public opinion on the issue of Muslim immigration.

A new report "Muslim-Western Tensions Persist" was published by the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center on July 21. It shows that Europeans believe their relations with Muslims are bad: France (62%), Germany (61%), Spain (58%) and Britain (52%).

The poll also shows that most Europeans believe Muslims in their countries do not want to integrate: Germany (72%), Spain (69%), France (54%) and Britain (52%).

The Pew survey shows that almost 60% of Europeans believe Muslims are "fanatical," 50% believe they are "violent" and only 22% believe they are "respectful of women." In response to the question "Which religion is most violent?" 90% of French say Islam, as do 87% of Spaniards, 79% of Germans and 75% of Britons. The poll also shows that more than two-thirds of Germans (73%), Britons (70%), French (68%) and Spanish (61%) are worried about Islamic extremists in their countries.

A separate poll conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project shows widespread support in Europe for banning Islamic veils in public, including in schools, hospitals and government offices. The survey shows that 82% of French, 71% of Germans, 62% of Britons and 59% of Spaniards support such a ban.

Another pan-European survey, the "Guardian Euro Poll," shows that concern about Muslim immigration is widespread and not just limited to the political far right. The poll shows that although 62% of Europeans view themselves as "liberal" rather than "traditional" on social issues, pluralities in the four biggest countries (Britain, France, Germany and Spain) are opposed to immigration from outside the European Union. The survey also shows that unrestricted immigration is the first- or second-most serious problem a large number of Europeans face.

In Britain, a poll called the "Searchlight Fear and Hope Survey" shows that huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party if it were not associated with violence and fascist imagery. The poll, conducted by London-based Populus, also shows that more than 50% of Britons agree with the proposition that "Muslims create problems in the UK."

In France, an Ifop poll published by the center-left Le Monde newspaper shows that 42% of French citizens consider the presence of a Muslim community in their country to be "a threat" to their national identity. Moreover, 68% of French say Muslims are "not well integrated in society." Out of these, 61% of the French blame this failure on the "refusal" by Muslims to integrate.

Recent polls also show that up to two-thirds of French voters believe that "multiculturalism" and the integration of Muslims into society have failed. A survey by Ifop for the France-Soir newspaper shows that nearly 40% of French voters believe that Muslim prayer in the streets of France resembles an occupation. An opinion poll published by Le Parisien newspaper shows that voters view Marine Le Pen, who leads the far right National Front party, as the candidate best suited to fix the problem of Muslim immigration.

In Germany, an opinion survey, "Perception and Acceptance of Religious Diversity," conducted by the sociology department of the University of Münster, in partnership with the prestigious TNS Emnid political polling firm, shows that the majority of Germans disagree with a statement by German President Christian Wulff that Islam "belongs in Germany."

The study shows that only 34% of West Germans and 26% of East Germans have a positive view of Muslims. Fewer than 5% of Germans think Islam is a tolerant religion, and only 30% say they approve of the building of mosques. The number of Germans who approve of the building of minarets or the introduction of Muslim holidays is even lower.

Fewer than 10% of West Germans and 5% of East Germans say that Islam is a peaceful religion. More than 40% of Germans believe that the practice of Islam should be vigorously restricted.

Only 20% of Germans and 30% of French believe that Islam is suitable for the Western world. Significantly, more than 80% of those surveyed in Germany, France, Denmark, Portugal and the Netherlands agree with the statement "that Muslims must adapt to our culture."

In the Netherlands, polls show that an overwhelming majority of Dutch voters are sceptical about multiculturalism. According to a Maurice de Hond poll published by the center-right newspaper Trouw on June 19, 74% of Dutch voters say immigrants should conform to Dutch values. Moreover, 83% of those polled say they support a ban on Islamic burqas in public spaces.

A separate Maurice de Hond poll published by the popular news website on July 29 shows that 63% of Dutch are "worried about the fact that the influence of Islam in Western European countries is increasing."

Not surprisingly, the center-right government in Holland recently announced plans to abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the country.

In Denmark, a Gallup/Berlingske poll recently published by the center-right Berlingske newspaper shows that 92% of Danish citizens believe Muslim immigrants should "predominantly adopt local Danish customs."

The poll was conducted after the new integration minister, Søren Pind, publicly rejected the idea that Denmark should be a multicultural society. According to Pind, Denmark should welcome foreigners who are willing to adopt and respect Danish values, norms and traditions; those who do not should not be in Denmark at all. "The way I see it, when you choose Denmark, you choose Denmark because you want to become Danish," Pind said.

Considered as a whole, the recent surveys show that majorities of Europeans are now worried about the impact that Muslim immigration is having on their daily lives.

But an arguably more important conclusion to be gleaned from the polling data is that ordinary Europeans are becoming increasingly willing to express their opinions in public.

After decades of a "bread and circuses," European political culture in which the ruling class was able to appease the general public by means of the cradle-to-grave social welfare state, there is now a discernable shift in public discourse in many European countries on the topic of immigration..

If Europe's political class eventually bends to the public will and does an about-face on a social re-engineering project that is transforming the continent beyond recognition, the recent shift in public opinion on immigration may yet mark the beginning of the end of European multiculturalism. Or will it be too little too late?

SOURCE. See the original for links

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